2017 Literary Burlesque The Geography of Resistance: Body Politic, Body Erotic
Saturday • May 20 • Doors and cash bar at 7pm / Show at 8pm • Ah Haa School for the Arts 4th Annual Literary Burlesque A review by Art Goodtimes of the 2016 show “Oh Sister, Where Art Thou?" noted: “It’s so very good. I was teased, tantalized, thumped and thoroughly rattled. Hysterical with laughter. Close to tears. On the edge of a canyon and deep in the incredible world of the feminine.” Witness this year's stirring performance by the morphing troupe of nine women and one guy who will drop layers, both literal and literary. This year’s show--Geography of Resistance: Body Politic, Body Erotic—is a collective “No!” to the rising forces in the world that seek to strip from bodies of women and bodies of land the legal protections that ensure we run wild and free, as madams of our own ecology. But the theme is also a “Yes!” and a nod to Wallace Stegner's “geography of hope," a phrase that public lands advocates invoke in the ongoing effort to protect our last, best wild places. Meaning we'll caress contours. Tease topographies. We'll erode and expose. And we'll peel away playfully the projections that seek to reduce us to mere resources for the taking. Coincidentally, the troupe will be performing on May 20th, designated in 2016 by Colorado lawmakers as Colorado's Public Lands Day.
"At its heart, burlesque has always been a response to socio-political tyranny. And so this year's performance is, in large part, just that: Our collective response to pussy-grabs and land-grabs alike,” says Amy Irvine, Literary Burlesque’s founding director.
Tickets are $15 and will go on sale at 10am on Monday, May 8th, at the Ah Haa School or Between the Covers Bookstore. Do note, this show has always sold out so don't delay!
The CAST of RESISTERS
AMY IRVINE Amy is a sixth-generation Utahan and longtime wilderness advocate, who for 7 years worked for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Her work has appeared in Orion, Triquarterly, Climbing, High Desert Journal and in numerous western, nature and environmental anthologies. Her second book, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award and Colorado Book Award—while the Los Angeles Times wrote that it "might very well be Desert Solitaire's literary heir." Her essay “Spectral Light” (Orion, January-February 2010/The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2011, was a finalist for the Pen Award in Journalism. Irvine recently completed a faculty fellowship in Southern New Hampshire University’s low-residency MFA program, where she now teaches non-fiction. She is the founding director of Literary Burlesque, in which she performs annually.
KIERSTIN BRIDGER Kierstin divides her time between Ridgway and Telluride. She is a winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, the 2015 ACC Writer’s Studio award and an Anne LaBastille Poetry residency. She is editor of Ridgway Alley Poems, Co-Director of Open Bard Poetry Series and contributing writer for Telluride Inside Out. Bridger's most recent work is in December as finalist for the Jeff Marks Memorial Prize. Her book Demominde (Lithic Press) is a collection of persona poems based on the lives of turn-of-the century prostitutes who ply their trade in mining towns like Telluride. Her newest book All Ember (Urban Farmhouse Press) is a time capsule of her formative years growing up in Buena Vista CO. Bridger earned her MFA at Pacific University. www.kierstinbridger.com
SAMANTHA TISDEL WRIGHT An independent journalist and poet, Samantha has always been a mountain girl, living and writing amidst the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. She has worked for a variety of publications in this region as a reporter, columnist, contributor and editor,and has won numerous awards for her writing, including the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalismfrom the Society of Professional Journalists. She is also a two-time finalist for the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize.
CORINNE PLATT Corinne moved to Telluride in 1987 with a plan to ski for a year and move on. Almost 30 years later she still lives and works from her home in Ophir, where she has recently undertaken her second term as mayor. Her book, Voices of the American West, won the Colorado Book Award for nonfiction. Her poems are unpublished.
ERIKA MOSS GORDON Erika lives in Ridgway with her two short and beautiful muses, where she writes poetry, works for a local film festival, teaches yoga, resists daily the current administration with all her might and plays music with her lover as often as possible. Erika’s writing has appeared in Mountain Gazette Magazine, Fungi Magazine, Telluride Watch, Telluride Magazine, Telluride Inside and Out, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Salmonberry Arts and 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, a collection of poetry. Her most recent book, Phases, was winner of the Fledge Chapbook Award, published by Middle Creek Publishing in 2016. Her first chapbook, Of Eyes and Iris, was published in 2013 (Liquid Light Press). This is her third year performing in Literary Burlesque.
ROSEMERRY WAHTOLA TROMMER Rosemerry's poetry has appeared in O Magazine, Rattle, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion and on river rocks around town. In 2015, she was appointed Poet Laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope and used the position to launch “Heard of Poets,” an interactive poetry map of Western Colorado poets. She directed the Telluride Writers Guild for 10 years and now co-directs the Talking Gourds Poetry Club. Since 2006, she’s written a poem a day. She and her husband live with their children in Placerville.
LYDIA PEELLE Lydia is LitFest's 2017 Featured Author. Her appearance in Telluride is sponsored by the award-winning Wilkinson Public Library. Her newest book is the novel The Midnight Cool. Her previous book, Reasons For and Advantages of Breathing, was a New York Times Book Review Critics' Choice book and received an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award. She is also the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an O. Henry Prize, and the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" Honor. And then there’s the Anahid Award for Armenian-American writers. She is an adjunct professor of writing at Southern New Hampshire University with founding festival faculty and locally based writers Amy Irvine and Craig Childs.She herself earned an MFA from the University of Virginia. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, when not on a tour bus with her two children and husband Ketch, lead singer for the Old Crow Medicine Show. She'll duck out from the band’s tour and steal away to Telluride for this event, joining them again on the road when LitFest bids her adieu.
DAIVA CHESONIS Daiva is a fiercely proud former Baltimoron, transplanted to Colorado half her life ago to build Telluride’s gondola transportation system. Although birthing chairlifts was not part of her initial goal after a Cold War-era B.A. in Russian Studies, she quickly decided to bed down in the box canyon to see what would unfold. A quarter century later, she is the co-owner of Between the Covers Bookstore with stints in between as snowboard instructor, owner/operator of Vision Design, Art Director at Telluride Magazine, founder and 5-year director of the Telluride AIDS Benefit Fashion Show, and a traveling minstrel for Mountainfilm on Tour. In 2005, she earned an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Conflict Resolution, mostly for fun. In her spare time, this equally proud Lithuanian mom of one can be found writing and performing poetry, putting on the Telluride Literary Arts Festival, and wandering local forests on the hunt for mushrooms. She’s also a passionate pro at finding herself lost in neighboring deserts and canyons.
ELLE METRICK She came, she hiked, she wrote. Now she mostly teaches and parents, still hikes some, writes less, but—without change, innovation dies, so she is practicing the arts of play and questioning.
CRAIG CHILDS Craig is an author and explorer who lives in Norwood where he’s been writing like a madman. He has published more than a dozen critically acclaimed books, including House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest and The Secret Knowledge of Water: Discovering the Essence of the American Desert. His most recent book, Apocalyptic Planet, won the Orion Book Award and he has twice won the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, and Outside. The New York Times says "Childs's feats of asceticism are nothing if not awe inspiring: he's a modern-day desert father." He has been called a born storyteller by the New York Sun, and the Los Angeles Times says his writing is like pure oxygen, and "stings like a slap in the face." An occasional commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, he is a an adjunct professor of writing at both University of Alaska in Anchorage and Southern New Hampshire University. A forthcoming book in spring 2018 follows in the footsteps of the first people of North America ... there will be mammoths.